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UK House of Lords back tobacco display ban

Media Release                

 

8 March 2009


Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) NZ

UK House of Lords back tobacco display ban

Britain’s House of Lords has voted in favour of banning tobacco retail displays, voting overwhelmingly in favour of putting tobacco displays by 204 votes to 110.  Amongst evidence heard by the Lords was research conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) New Zealand.

During the debate Lord Faulkner of Worcester said, “At the recent World Conference on Tobacco or Health, further evidence was submitted from New Zealand based on research with 25,000 young people. They found that 15 year-olds most exposed to point-of-sale displays are almost three times more likely to try to start smoking. It was identified that exposure to point of sale is a greater risk factor than even parental smoking.”

Once the Bill has passed through the Lords it has still to complete its passage through the House of Commons.

ASH NZ director, Ben Youdan said, “The UK Lords have heard the evidence, including data from New Zealand. They’ve understood that these displays target children, promote smoking to them and are totally inconsistent with being a country that cares about its health.” Mr Youdan is urging the New Zealand Government to follow suit.

“New Zealand research has been powerful enough to help convince the UK Lords that banning displays is a vital way to protect children, yet the New Zealand Government continues to tell us that they don’t think there is enough evidence,” said Mr Youdan.

ASH UK director, Deborah Arnott said, “ASH UK is delighted that peers have voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of this important public health measure. Smoking is not an adult choice but a childhood addiction with most smokers taking up the habit before they reach 18. Ending point of sale displays is an important part of a strategy to address youth smoking”

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